In the NHL, the penalty box acts as a confessional. Guilty players confess their sins upon entering and then perform a penance that is determined by the severity of the sin and is measured in minutes.
- PRIDE: Abuse of Officials (Rule 70).
- ENVY: Interference with a Breakaway (Rule 56.6).
- GLUTTONY: Too Many Men on the Ice (Rule 74).
- LUST: Obscene Language or Gestures (Rule 39.3).
- ANGER: Fighting (Rule 46).
- GREED: Concealing Puck with Hand (Rule 67).
- SLOTH: Delay of Game (Rule 63).
But this is such a long list, and it's difficult to stay pious and obedient. Some Capitals players find these strict tenets harder to obey than others. Naturally, they spend a lot of time in confessional.
Here are the Washington Capitals' players who will spend the most time in the penalty box in 2013-14.
Note: All statistics courtesy of NHL.com unless noted otherwise.
Note: During the Capitals' 2012-13 season, Matt Hendricks and Mike Ribeiro ranked first and second respectively in penalty minutes and were tied for second in minor penalties. Both are no longer with the team.
Alex Ovechkin spends a lot of time in the confessional.
Keep in mind that Ovechkin is the team's captain. According to the NHL rule book, he is designated to choose who serves certain penalties, often choosing himself.
As long as Ovechkin is captain, he will answer for the sins of others. This responsibility is a heavy cross to bear.
Jason Chimera is constantly committing sins of the ice. And he likes a little variety in his life of sin.
Both of Chimera's major penalties were pugilistic in nature, giving him the third-most fighting majors on the team, according to HockeyFights.com.
Plus, Chimera had one misconduct penalty.
Thus far in his NHL career, Chimera has been unrepentant. According to HockeyFights.com, Chimera has 29 fighting majors in his twelve NHL seasons, averaging more than two fights per season. Furthermore, Chimera has 706 penalty minutes in 710 regular season games, or just about one penalty minute per game.
Attempts at reform may be in vain.
John Erskine is a lost cause.
The 33-year-old blue liner has 809 penalty minutes in 454 regular season games over 11 seasons with three different teams. Not surprisingly, Erskine has 63 regular season fights to his name, according to HockeyFights.com.
Last season, Erskine did nothing to show remorse. He ranked fifth on the team in penalty minutes with 34, in only 30 games. The top four on the team in penalty minutes all played at least 47 games. Plus, Erskine was tied for third on the team in fighting majors with two, according to HockeyFights.com.
Expect Erskine to do more of the same this season. In the meantime, Erskine may want to pray to St. Dale of Petrolia, hockey's patron saint of lost causes.
Tom Wilson has gone over to the dark side at a very young age. Such a tragedy.
Before making the Caps' opening night roster, the 19-year-old Wilson played in the OHL for the previous three seasons, two of which ended included the postseason.
The following table lists Wilson's fighting majors for each season, according to HockeyFights.com. The table also lists Wilson's penalty minutes for each season and his league rank in that category, according to OntarioHockeyLeague.com:
|2010-11 Regular *||28||8||71||104th|
As you can see, Wilson is going through a dark period of his adolescence.
Coincidentally, Wilson was recently compared to Eric Lindros by head coach Adam Oates, as noted by Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com. To live up to this comparison, Wilson may be driven to sin at every turn.
Last season, Steve Oleksy strode into Washington as a drifter, with little known about his past. Yet it took no time at all for this mysterious stranger to corrupt the locals with his evil ways.
Naturally, he became a fan favorite.
Oleksy ranked sixth on the Capitals with 33 penalty minutes and 10th on the Caps with nine minor penalties during the 2012-13 season. The 27-year-old also finished second on the team with three fighting majors, according to HockeyFights.com.
All this in only 28 games.
In a full 82-game season, Oleksy will have a chance to show the entire NHL just how evil he can be. As a result, he will spend more time in the penalty box than any other Capitals player.